Top 5 Best Places to Elope in Washington

Whether it’s an engagement session or an elopement adventure, Washington state truly has some of the most gorgeous locations that would make your heart skip a beat when you get to see them in real life.

This blog post is your ultimate guide in finding the perfect location and to learn about everything you need to know when eloping in Washington State.

Take it from the guy who actually eloped here in Washington, I really can’t get enough of my beautiful state. From all the beautiful national parks to all the forests around the state, Washington would 100% have something that fit your visions for your elopements.

*WARNING: Although Washington has some of the most beautiful locations for your ideal elopement, everything is at least 2 hours drive from downtown Seattle :) What can I say, you gotta work for it. Trust me, it’s worth it 😘 

 

Best places to elope in washington

HOW TO ELOPE IN WASHINGTON

  1. Choose the best location that fits your vibes and visions

  2. Send me an inquiry for a FREE consultation

  3. We’ll talk and plan on EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW from lodging to transportation and everything in between to make your elopement the best day ever

  4. Apply for a marriage license

  5. We’ll adventure around the location you picked, take in the beauty of Washington, create memories, and I’ll photograph the heck out of you guys

  6. Eat the cake, pop the champagne, and celebrate your marriage! Yay!!!

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

Best time to elope in Washington depends on what kind of beautiful landscapes and visions you have in mind.

  • November - February would give you a snowy magical winter wonderland kind of elopement.

  • March - May and October - November would provide us overcast/rainy weather that makes an epic moody elopement.

  • July - September are truly my favorite time of the year since you can hike all the way up anywhere you want and all the trails would be snow-free. This is also the best time to see wildflowers. Check out this beautiful elopement to see what I am talking about.

Rain, sun, fog, snow, what should we do?

  • The thing about Washington is that the weather is so unpredictable. We can look up the weather app and everything is fine but then the next day, it could turn 180 degree.

  • Whatever it is, I’m skilled at photographing AND making sure you guys look beautiful in any weather condition. I gotcha :)

  • If it rains, dance in the rain. If it’s sunny, feel the sun on your skin. If your cake fell over, play with it. If your dress got dirty, get it dirtier. Focus on what’s important, not the little things. And I will take care of the rest and make sure you look epic as heck

Marriage License and EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Per state law, you will need to apply for a marriage license at least 3 days before your elopement date. You can only apply for a license within 60 days of your elopement date.

  • If you are from Washington or if you arrive at least 3 days before your elopement date, you can visit any local office to get one. If you are from out of state and don’t have enough time to arrive early and to wait, the BEST WAY IS TO APPLY ONLINE AND HAVE IT MAILED TO YOU.

  • More Information on your marriage license can be found HERE

  • You will also need an officiant and 2 witnesses. If you have family and/or friends who can be there for you, that’s amazing

  • If not, it’s ok, often time, I’m one of the witnesses, and I can recommend a list of officiants for you.

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THE BEST OF THE BEST - MOST BEATIFUL PLACES TO ELOPE IN WASHINGTON

1. Olympic National Park

2. North Cascades National Park

3. Mount Rainier National Park

4. Snoqualmie Pass

5. Gifford Pinchot National Forest


OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK ELOPEMENT

Olympic National Park is my personal favorite because the park is HUGEEEEE and it opens year round. Plus, Olympic is the only place that would offer anything you are looking for: beach, water, rugged mountains, rain forests, alpine lakes, etc… You name it, I’ll take you there :)

Best places to elope around Olympic National Park: Ruby Beach, HOH Rainforest, La Push Beach, Lake Crescent, Cape Flattery, Lake Cushman, Hurricane Ridge and so many many many other places

THE DEETS: Not gonna lie, Olympic National Park is so huge and so diverse, it an overwhelm people. To get there, it could take 2 hours or up to 4 hours from Sea-Tac Airport depends on the exact location you’re thinking of. Let me know what speaks to your heart and I can provide more accurate information

Permits: For most of Olympic National Park, you don’t need a parking permit.

Check out this beautiful Vow Renewal at Ruby Beach for more inspo


NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK ELOPEMENT

North Cascades National Park is most beautiful during the summer months when the snow are all gone. This place is also a bit too underrated for its beauty. Truly, if you want the ultimate PNW Adventure, you came to the right place.

Best places to elope around North Cascades National Park: Withdrop, Lake Diablo, Artist Point. How long of a hike are you interested in? Whatever you into, I gotchu :)

The Deets: North Cascades is also a huge national park. Depends on the exact location, you are looking at around 2 - 4 hrs drive from Sea-Tac Airport. Snow and rain are the two things you would often hear about this place. But don’t let that scare you. Did you know that snow and rain are actually the best kind of weather to photograph in? It’s moody and it’s super romantic.

Permits: You will need a parking permit. Check out the park’s official website for most up to date info


MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK ELOPEMENT

Mount Rainier National Park is the most iconic spot around here. Heck, the mountain itself is on every single license plate :)

In the winter, this is where you can get your winter wonderland elopements, in the summer you will get all kind of epic views and all kind of wild flowers.

Best places to elope around Mount Rainier National Park: There are two popular entrances - Sunrise and Paradise. Sunrise is assessable around May - September whereas Paradise is open year round. Depends on how long of a hire you’re interested in, I can provide some customized recommendations.

The Deets: This place is endless. There are so so so many trails we can hike that would give us all kind of epic and stunning mountain views. Truly, let me know how far of a hike you’re interested in and I can provide some tips and tricks.

Permits: You will need a parking permit and a wedding permit. More information can be found HERE

Check out this beautiful Winter Elopement on Mount Rainier National Park for more inspo


SNOQUALMIE PASS ELOPEMENT

Snoqualmie Pass is the closest place from downtown Seattle that provides some epic PNW vibes. If you are into alpine lakes, this is the perfect spot for you.

Best places to elope around Snoqualmie Pass: Snoqualmie Falls, Rattlesnake Ledge, Gold Creek Pond, and so so so many more.

The Deets: Snoqualmie Pass is the closest location from downtown Seattle. The closest location + fairly easy hike + beautiful view is Rattlesnake Ledge and it’s only around 40 mins from Seattle. So what does that mean? That means this place CAN GET CROWDED EASILY. If you come here on a sunny weekend, you can’t even park. So what can we do? Timing is crucial with this one specific place so you can have the most intimate elopement with beautiful views. But I also know some other locations near by I can help with. From Snoqualmie Falls, North Bend, to Cle Elum, truly, I am so excited to share with you soon.

Permits: You won’t need a permit to elope but depends on the exact location, you might need a parking permit. Check out this website for moree Northwest Forest Parking Permit.

Check out this gorgeous Fall anniversary session by Rattlesnake Lake for more inspo


GIFFORD PINCHOT NATIONAL FOREST ELOPEMENT

Gifford Pinchot National Forest will bring your PNW forest vibes to life.  And since it’s a national forest, you’ll find yourself among beautiful campgrounds with lots of waterfalls.

Best places to elope around Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Mount St Helens, Mt. Adams, Packwood Lake, etc…

The Deets: This area by far is the furthest place from Seattle compares to all the locations listed above. If you’re interested in visiting a couple of places before your elopement day, you can fly into Seattle and find a cute A-Frame cabin to stay in. But if you don't have enough time to explore, flying into Portland and staying around Portland maybe a better option.

Permits: You can either use a Northwest Forest Pass or the National Park Pass. More info can be found here

 


Ready to elope? Need my help in finding the most perfect location for you? Need more clarifications?


Henry Tieu is a Seattle Wedding and Adventure Elopement Photographer. We specialize in intimate weddings, couples, engagements, and elopements. Often travel around the Pacific Northwest, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and international countries. We focus on the intimate and raw moments that are unique to each couple.